Blockbuster Names Former 7-Eleven Chief James W. Keyes CEO2 Jul, 2007 By: Stephanie Prange
Blockbuster Inc. has appointed James W. Keyes as the company's new chairman and CEO effective July 2.
Keyes is the former president and CEO of 7-Eleven Inc. and a 21-year veteran of the world's largest chain of convenience stores.
He replaces chairman and CEO John F. Antioco, who will be assisting with an orderly corporate transition, the company announced.
Keyes was president and CEO of 7-Eleven from 2000 to 2005. He retired upon the sale of the company in 2005.
“Jim is results-oriented, strategic and able to identify practical, yet highly creative solutions to complicated business problems,” said Carl C. Icahn, a member of the Blockbuster board of directors. “Most importantly, he has a strong, multiunit retailing background and an impressive record of introducing new customer-focused technologies into a business that have driven financial results.
“With his extensive background in finance, operations and marketing, and as a former CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he is exactly the right person to become the next leader of Blockbuster. The rest of the board and I are extremely pleased to welcome Jim to the company.
“We also want to express our appreciation to John Antioco for his years of service to Blockbuster,” Icahn continued. “Thanks to John's leadership over the past decade, Blockbuster has transformed itself numerous times, and I believe the initiative he most recently helped put in place, namely Blockbuster Total Access, should help position the company for future growth.”
Keyes said: “Blockbuster has a world-class brand and is a highly regarded leader in the home entertainment industry. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the Blockbuster team to better serve our customers and to position Blockbuster for profitable growth and an even stronger future.”
Keyes graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts and earned an MBA from Columbia University. From 1980 to 1985, he worked for Gulf Oil and in 1985 joined CITGO Petroleum, which was then a subsidiary of 7-Eleven Inc. Keyes served in a variety of positions with 7-Eleven, including CFO, EVP and COO, before taking the helm as president and CEO.